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I Know Where You Were Last Summer: London’s public bike data is telling everyone where you’ve been [vartree.blogspot.co.uk]

This article is about a publicly available dataset of bicycle journey data that contains enough information to track the movements of individual cyclists across London, for a six month period just over a year ago.

I’ll also explore how this dataset could be linked with other datasets to identify the actual people who made each of these journeys, and the privacy concerns this kind of linking raises.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that there is a publicly available Transport For London dataset that contains records of bike journeys for London’s bicycle hire scheme. What may surprise you is that this record includes unique customer identifiers, as well as the location and date/time for the start and end of each journey. The public dataset currently covers a period of six months between 2012 and 2013.

What are the consequences of this? It means that someone who has access to the data can extract and analyse the journeys made by individual cyclists within London during that time, and with a little effort, it’s possible to find the actual people who have made the journeys.

via The Variable Tree: I Know Where You Were Last Summer: London’s public bike data is telling everyone where you’ve been.

Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites’ claim that automation depresses real wages. [project-syndicate.org]

Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites' claim that automation depresses real wages. - Project Syndicate

The Luddites’ rampage was at its height in 1811-12. An alarmed government sent in more troops to garrison the disturbed areas than were then available to Wellington in the Peninsular War against Napoleon. More than a hundred Luddites were hanged or transported to Australia. These measures restored peace. The machines won: the Luddites are a footnote in the history of the Industrial Revolution.

Historians tell us that the Luddites were victims of a temporary conjuncture of rising prices and falling wages that threatened them with starvation in a society with minimal welfare provision. The Luddites, however, blamed their misfortune on the machines themselves.

via Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites’ claim that automation depresses real wages. – Project Syndicate.

BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

This week, new research number crunching millions of bits of data on breast cancer has allowed scientists to reclassify the disease into 10 different subtypes. They say this is a huge break though which will lead to new treatments and improve outcomes for women with the disease. The lead author of the Cancer Research UK study Carlos Caldas explains its impact.

The maths of politics. Stand up Mathematician Matt Parker and professor of theoretical physics Andrea Rapisarda look at the role mathematics plays in elections and the way politicians behave. Andrea argues political decisions would be improved if politicians were selected at random rather than elected, but Matt sees the mathematical flaw in electoral systems, which he likens to rolling a dice – one where the voters hardly ever get the outcome they wish for.

Its 40 years since British scientist Godfrey Hounsfield invented the CT scan. This multilayered use of x ray imagery has revolutionised the diagnosis of internal health problems and is used worldwide. We speak to Liz Beckmann, one of Godfrey Hounsfield’s former colleagues and the co author of a new book on his life and work, out this week; ‘Godfrey Hounsfield: Intuitive Genius of CT’

via BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Material World, 19/04/2012.

Fruit and vegetable consumption by poorer families falls 30%, figures show | Society | The Guardian

The average UK household bought about four portions of fruit and vegetables a day at the end of 2010, while households in the lowest tenth of incomes were buying only 2.7 portions, figures by Defra show. Photograph: Cymru/Alamy

Lower income families in the UK have cut their consumption of fruit and vegetables by nearly a third in the wake of the recession and rising food prices, to just over half of the five-a-day portions that the government recommends for a healthy diet.

Un ménage moyen au Royaume-Uni a acheté environ quatre portions de fruits et légumes par jour à la fin de 2010, tandis que les ménages aux revenus des 10% les plus bas en ont seulement acheté 2,7 portions, ce que montrent les chiffres par le Defra.

Familles à faible revenu au Royaume-Uni ont réduit leur consommation de fruits et légumes de près d’un tiers dans le sillage de la récession et hausse des prix alimentaires, à un peu plus de la moitié des portions de cinq-par-jour que le gouvernement recommande pour une alimentation saine.

via Fruit and vegetable consumption by poorer families falls 30%, figures show | Society | The Guardian.

Daily chart: Winners and losers | The Economist

AS MANY rich economies face recession this year, it is interesting to compare how output per person has changed in the world’s big economies since 2007, just before the financial crisis hit. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s forecasts, people in Britain, America, France and Japan will be less well-off in 2012 than they were in 2007. In Britain, real GDP per person will drop by more than 5% compared with its pre-crisis level. Germany and the BRIC countries are doing better. India’s real output per person is forecast to be 34% higher this year than it was in 2007; the increase in China will be over 50%.

COMME BEAUCOUP d’économies riches font face à une  cette année, il est intéressant de comparer la façon dont la production par personne a changé dans les grandes économies du monde depuis 2007, juste avant la crise financière. Selon les prévisions de l’Economist Intelligence Unit, les gens en Grande-Bretagne, l’Amérique, la France et le Japon seront moins bien lotis en 2012 qu’ils ne l’étaient en 2007. En Grande-Bretagne, le PIB réel par personne diminuera de plus de 5% par rapport à son niveau d’avant crise. L’Allemagne et les pays BRIC se portent mieux.La production réelle de l’Inde par personne est prévu à 34% de pluscette année qu’il ne l’était en 2007; l’augmentation de la Chine sera de plus de 50%.

via Daily chart: Winners and losers | The Economist.

Cut the working week to a maximum of 20 hours, urge top economists | Society | The Observer

 

Britain is struggling to shrug off the credit crisis; overworked parents are stricken with guilt about barely seeing their offspring; carbon dioxide is belching into the atmosphere from our power-hungry offices and homes. In London on Wednesday, experts will gather to offer a novel solution to all of these problems at once: a shorter working week.

Cut the working week to a maximum of 20 hours, urge top economists | Society | The Observer.

Computer that can read promises cancer breakthroughs – Telegraph

Called CRAB, the system is able to trawl through millions of peer-reviewed articles for clues to the causes of tumours. Already, it has uncovered a potential reason why some chemicals induce pancreatic cancer only in men.

CRAB is the latest implementation of a rapidly-emerging form of artificial intelligence called natural language processing, which is also used in the Siri personal assistant software in the iPhone 4S. It allows computers to read texts and derive meaning from them, despite their complexity and abiguities, as humans do.

The system will first be used to assess the risk that new chemicals could cause cancer.

Appelé CRABE le système est capable de naviguer parmi des millions d’articles évalués par des indices sur les causes des tumeurs. Déjà, il a découvert une raison potentielle pourquoi certains produits chimiques induisent un cancer du pancréas chez les hommes.
CRABE est la dernière application d’une forme rapide et émergence de l’intelligence artificielle appelée traitement du langage naturel, qui est également utilisé dans le logiciel Siri l’assistant personnel de l’iPhone 4S. Il permet aux ordinateurs de lire des textes et comprendre la signification de ces dernières, malgré leur complexité et abiguities, a l’instar les humains.
Le système sera d’abord utilisé pour évaluer le risque que les nouveaux produits chimiques d’engendrer un cancer.

via Computer that can read promises cancer breakthroughs – Telegraph.

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